Ashoks the Great

Once upon a time there ruled over twentieth-century Indraprastha, not one but two Ashoks, whose empire stretched as far as the eye could see, and their fame even beyond.

Okay, granted that the eye couldn’t see very far at all in twentieth-century Indraprastha, but you get the gist.

Every day when the sun would set on their bonny kingdom, the Ashoks would collect their tithe, and transform it into a toothsome treat of mutton and chicken, curried in the richest of gravies, replete with desi ghee and the finest dry fruits their minions could muster.

Then one day, legend goes, as they were surveying the plains after a particularly bloody battle with enemies most fowl, they had an epicurean epiphany. “What haven’t I done?!” they cried.

And that is when they decided to renounce violence and mint money by selling the stuff they conjured up each day.

So when the venerable Rahul Verma told me that the legend is still alive, and he would even be kind enough to take us to the shop, I immediately pounced on the phone and rang every friend I could think of. Here was a treat no one should miss!

We gathered in the parking lot of the Press Club on a sunny Saturday afternoon, but the pleasantries were brief. We were a bunch of foodies and we had work to do. Plus, we had been told that the place is open only from about 1 to 3 o’clock, and often runs out of its offerings even sooner. In minutes we had piled into a couple of cars, and sped off to Sadar Bazar, where stands Ashok and Ashok Meat Dhaba.

The location and other details have already been covered in an old article of Rahul Verma’s.

All I’ll say is that the place comfortably lived up to its billing. The seven of us barely exchanged a word from the moment the plates of mutton and chicken curry landed on our roadside table, not counting the frequent grunts to ask for more chapattis. The thick chapattis, garnished with dhaniya, were themselves quite unique and delicious. But they are understandably overshadowed by the gravy, which was easily the best I’ve had in a meat dish yet. A perfect example, in fact, of a good Indian curry — rich with spices and flavour without being hot, generous in its use of ghee yet somehow light on the tummy.

Incidentally, we had one vegetarian amongst us as well, and Ashok was able to serve her with a capable thali, with the regular shahi paneer etc. accompanied by the same delectable chapattis. It goes without saying, though, that it pales in comparison with the mutton and chicken curries. There is also biryani on the menu, which none of us have tried yet.

Price: Just Rs. 90 for a plate of mutton or chicken curry, with unlimited chapattis.

Timings: 1pm – 3pm. Carry out available from 1pm to 8pm. Mutton is served only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The shop is shut during the Navraatras.

Location: 42, Subhash Chowk, Basti Harphool Singh, Sadar Thana Road. Ph. +91-9871471700, 9910363803, 9891776283

Map Location

Also see the Rahul Verma article cited above. That said, it’s probably best to try and go there with someone who already knows the place.

Happy hunting!

6 thoughts on “Ashoks the Great”

  1. hmmm…agreed that the cury is one of the best in town.. but somwhat it’s too fatty : D
    Honestly, i think Karim’s in Chandni Chowk is still unbeatable 😀 😉

  2. A few things to remember:

    1. The mutton actually gets over in the first hour of sales.
    2. TOO MUCH GHEE – expect to lose atleast 5 hours of life expectancy.
    3. Ask for Thums Up with your food – the same attendant gets it for you.
    4. tip – it might not be a bad idea to bribe the attendant, to ensure you dont die out of hunger.. or worse, all the food finishes right in front of your eyes.

    Shail and Sandeep

    PS. to soak in the ambience, take the tonga to the market.

  3. Went to Ashok & Ashok today.Finding the place is a herculian task as I had to park my car in CP and take an auto and reached there at 1 PM.. Only chicken curry was available as they make mutton only on Wednesday and Saturday and it gets over by 1.15 PM ( They open at 1pm). So its advisable to call them and request them to keep some for you till you reach there. Much has been written about the food here but it was a great disappointment.The chicken that I got ( Rs 125 for one plate) was probably one fourth piece of breast with hardly any meat on it. Sure it reeked of pure ghee but thats all. I would rate the dhabas at Shanker Market( Kaka, National,Bhapa) far superior than Ashok & Ashok, both in terms of taste and Quantity of the food that they give out.
    This shack in Sadar Bazaar is just a hole in the wall joint and you have to stand on the pedestrian pavement and eat, the food is nothing to write home about.Someone somewhere mentioned that theis is the best meat he has had so far, pal, check out the Badaam pasandas at Jawahar,jama masjid.Korma at Nazeer foods Noida,then there is GMW and Rehmani at PC of course, not forgetting Puran Singh at Ambala.Shama at Haldwani ( Nainital). Thats what i call taste. A&A is nowhere in the league.

  4. LOL.. for each person waxing eloquent on a food joint, there is another spoilsport, who calls the joint overrated. Guess I belong to the latter category!! Main idhar jaun ya udhar jaun.. badi mushkil mein hoon ke kidhar jaun…

  5. Ever since ashok, the guy who started it all – died , ashok meat quality has really gone down. my grandfather has two big houses there right next to the shop. As a kid every time i used to visit my grandpa ashok used to make the meat in the Mother Dairy booth opposite to his shop.

    Next time you go there, try Madan Lal Halwai puris – the best that i have tasted anywhere in the world. time is 7AM to about 11AM.

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